Dubai A US navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel on Monday off the coast of Dubai after the motor vessel “disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship,” a US military official confirmed to Gulf News.
One person was killed and three were injured, according to Emirati rescue workers and press reports.
“The US crew repeatedly attpempted to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the (US navy vessel) Rappahannock fired rounds from a 0.50-caliber machine gun,” Lt Greg Raelson, the media officer at the US 5th-fleet based in Bahrain said.
“The incident is under investigation”, he added.
However, he didn’t further comment on the causes, nor whether the US navy thought it was an Iranian small motor vessel.
Tareq Ahmad Al Haidan, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs said the victim was an Indian fisherman, and three other Indians were seriously injured.
UAE authorities are investigating the incident, he said.
The incident coincides with increasing tension between Iran and the rest of the international community over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program and the Western sanctions on exporting Iranian oil.